Lisa Roberty is a successful screenwriter with an impoverished social life who’s enduring a demoralizing job at the mind-numbing sitcom You Go, Girl. Grant Repka is an obscure indie rock musician who, in his forties, finds his career surprisingly resurrected with the success of his comic operetta about the doomed romance of Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson. When Grant and Lisa meet after one of his shows, sparks don’t immediately fly—but e-mail addresses are exchanged. A my-book-for-your-CD trade and a couple of e-mails later, Lisa tells Grant that she enjoys his song “My Psycho Ex,” but warns him that where psycho-exes are concerned, she’s pretty sure she “could drink him under the table.”
Little does she know that this will become the opening salvo in an epic e-mail battle dubbed the Psycho Ex Game, a storytelling competition in which horrific tales of dysfunctional love and living with lunatics are volleyed with glee. The rules are simple; the point system, unique: the experiences that would normally leave someone running for the therapist’s office (humiliation, degradation, and complicity in psychotic behavior) just might win match point in the Psycho Ex Game. Now it’s Grant vs. Lisa as the wretched tales of his ex, the Junkie Queen of Darkness, vie with the woe inflicted by her ex, a tantrum-throwing actor/director widely known as Mr. Summer Box Office Record-Holder.
As the correspondence evolves, it surprises Lisa by offering her the kind of intimacy she has never shared with a man in the same room. Before long, what started as a friendly competition becomes a road map to an unlikely couple’s growing involvement, leaving both Grant and Lisa secretly wondering, “If we were to get involved, which one of us is potentially the next Psycho Ex?”
Written in alternating he said/she said chapters, The Psycho Ex Game is shot through with the acerbic humor of Merrill Markoe and the mordant observations that have made Andy Prieboy a literate voice in rock. The Psycho Ex Game is a hilarious dissection of injuries sustained on the front lines of romance—and the careful nursing that gets us battleready once again.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Published December 18, 2007
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